So you've got a rapidly ageing mobile app. When it was developed, it was designed to provide a rich experience and leverage the power of the device and mobility that's intrinsic with smartphones. Or maybe it was just something that was expected in your market space at the time… but things have now moved on with technology and your business.
Whatever the reason, once you’ve got an app released and out in the wild, there’s a number of considerations that differ from traditional website development.
A well supported development framework and pipeline is now a must
Mobile apps are published through a third party, typically Apple’s App Store or the Google Play store. Apple and Google run and maintain these stores, and app developers and publishers get many amazing benefits from this. They also set the rules. These can cover the kinds of apps and content you can publish, how payments and personal information are handled, security considerations and more.
In recent years there have been many changes to the rules and they continue to be progressively rolled out. All developers must comply so it’s, therefore, important you have a tech stack and a development pipeline to support releasing updates to your app at least two to three times per year.
Does your current mobile app framework have a future?
It’s important that you know what technology stack your app has been built with. It’s been 14 years since the iOS App Store was made available in mid 2008. Many mobile app development frameworks have arrived on the scene over this time and some of those are no longer being actively developed.
This means enhancing your app going forward could be very difficult as plugins to access new phone features are unlikely to be released. Worse still, your app could be removed by Apple or Google for not being compliant with current security or policy standards or the app could be badly broken by operating system updates.
Your mobile app doesn’t seem as popular anymore
Does your app analytics show that downloads have slowed significantly? Perhaps you’re experiencing very low retention - i.e. your app gets downloaded but is rapidly deleted by users. This is referred to as an ‘insta-delete’. This is a strong indication that, when installed, users don’t particularly like what they see and suffers from a poor user experience.
This might mean that your app needs a complete UI and UX overhaul.
If you’re going to undertake that, we strongly recommend evaluating the development framework you’re using and choose one that is widely used and has a bright future. Additionally, when a release involves a substantial amount of UI work, it’s the perfect opportunity to move to a high quality framework such as React Native.
You can’t find anyone to support or develop your app
You’ve got big plans for your app but you can’t find developers or a development partner who’s interested in working on it. Keeping your app functionally up-to-date is important. But keeping the tech stack updated is also equally as important to ensure it can be supported going forward and that it’s an attractive solution for development talent to want to work on.
Understanding what’s being phased out, what is coming up, and where the community is going with mobile application development is important in planning your own app roadmap.
Sandfield can help you get it sorted
If any of these pain points resonate with you, we can help. At Sandfield, we’re a team of experienced App developers with a long and successful track record in this space. We have a proven mobile app development process and a highly engaged team that can work through all of these issues with you. Talk to us today.